A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about all the things I’ve been clearing out of my house.
For many years, I’ve been good about throwing out or donating things I don’t use. My house is not filled with clutter. We have very few toys from when our kids were little and I don’t have any clothes I don’t wear.
To take this habit up a notch, over the past year or so, I’ve gotten into a habit of being sure to throw out or donate at least one thing from my house every weekend. The more I do it, the easier it is to part with things, even things I previously felt attached to.
One of those things was books. I have always limited the books I held onto—just keeping my favorites. But, I have read so many books, and so many genres of books, that even with all the ones I have given away, I have many.
There are three reasons why I collect books:
- I like how they look on my bookshelf.
- I want to be able to read them again.
- I want to be able to loan books to other people to read.
I realized two things: I have more than enough for my bookshelves and I will probably never read a book twice. The few times I have considered doing so, I have quickly put the book down, preferring instead to read something I haven’t yet read. I know some people read books multiple times, but I’ve learned I’m not one of them. I have watched movies multiple times, but rereading books is just not in the cards for me. As a result, I’ve even started giving away favorite books.
As to loaning books to people, I am now giving them away and suggesting they pass the books to others when they are done. For example, at work a friend and I were talking about the Lord of the Rings movies. When he said he had never read the books, I offered him mine. I told him to keep them or to pass them along when he was done.
One more example: A week later, when volunteering for an organization called Family Promise that provides meals and housing to local families in need, a girl in middle school mentioned how much she loves the Harry Potter series. She had read the first four books. The next night I brought her books five, six, and seven.
What are you holding onto that’s causing you unneeded clutter? How can you dispose of those things (and possibly help others in the process)? Please join the conversation with your comments…